This Thesis is devoted to the study of topological phases of matter in optical platforms, focusing on non-Hermitian systems with gain and losses involving nonreciprocal elements, and fractional quantum Hall liquids where strong interactions play a central role.In the first part we investigated nonlinear Taiji micro-ring resonators in passive and active silicon photonics setups. Such resonators establish a unidirectional coupling between the two whispering-gallery modes circulating in their perimeter. We started by demonstrating that a single nonlinear Taiji resonator coupled to a bus waveguide breaks Lorentz reciprocity. When a saturable gain is added to a single Taiji resonator, a sufficiently strong unidirectional coupling rules out the possibility of lasing in one of the whispering-gallery modes with independence of the type of optical nonlinearity and gain saturation displayed by the material. This can be regarded as a dynamical time-reversal symmetry breaking. This effect is further enhanced by an optical Kerr nonlinearity. We showed that both ring and Taiji resonators can work as optical isolators over a broad frequency band in realistic operating conditions. Our proposal relies on the presence of a strong pump in a single direction: as a consequence four-wave mixing can only couple the pump with small intensity signals propagating in the same direction. The resulting nonreciprocal devices circumvent the restrictions imposed by dynamic reciprocity. We then studied two-dimensional arrays of ring and Taiji resonators realizing quantum spin-Hall topological insulator lasers. The strong unidirectional coupling present in Taiji resonator lattices promotes lasing with a well-defined chirality while considerably improving the slope efficiency and reducing the lasing threshold. Finally, we demonstrated that lasing in a single helical mode can be obtained in quantum spin-Hall lasers of Taiji resonators by exploiting the optical nonlinearity of the material. In the second part of this Thesis we dived into more speculative waters and explored fractional quantum Hall liquids of cold atoms and photons. We proposed strategies to experimentally access the fractional charge and anyonic statistics of the quasihole excitations arising in the bulk of such systems. Heavy impurities introduced inside a fractional quantum Hall droplet will bind quasiholes, forming composite objects that we label as anyonic molecules. Restricting ourselves to molecules formed by one quasihole and a single impurity, we find that the bound quasihole gives a finite contribution to the impurity mass, that we are able to ascertain by considering the first-order correction to the Born-Oppenheimer approximation. The effective charge and statistical parameter of the molecule are given by the sum of those of the impurity and the quasihole, respectively. While the mass and charge of such objects can be directly assessed by imaging the cyclotron orbit described by a single molecule, the anyonic statistics manifest as a rigid shift of the interference fringes in the differential scattering cross section describing a collision between two molecules.

Non-Hermitian and Topological Features of Photonic Systems / Munoz De Las Heras, Alberto. - (2022 Feb 24), pp. 1-160. [10.15168/11572_331092]

Non-Hermitian and Topological Features of Photonic Systems

Munoz De Las Heras, Alberto
2022

Abstract

This Thesis is devoted to the study of topological phases of matter in optical platforms, focusing on non-Hermitian systems with gain and losses involving nonreciprocal elements, and fractional quantum Hall liquids where strong interactions play a central role.In the first part we investigated nonlinear Taiji micro-ring resonators in passive and active silicon photonics setups. Such resonators establish a unidirectional coupling between the two whispering-gallery modes circulating in their perimeter. We started by demonstrating that a single nonlinear Taiji resonator coupled to a bus waveguide breaks Lorentz reciprocity. When a saturable gain is added to a single Taiji resonator, a sufficiently strong unidirectional coupling rules out the possibility of lasing in one of the whispering-gallery modes with independence of the type of optical nonlinearity and gain saturation displayed by the material. This can be regarded as a dynamical time-reversal symmetry breaking. This effect is further enhanced by an optical Kerr nonlinearity. We showed that both ring and Taiji resonators can work as optical isolators over a broad frequency band in realistic operating conditions. Our proposal relies on the presence of a strong pump in a single direction: as a consequence four-wave mixing can only couple the pump with small intensity signals propagating in the same direction. The resulting nonreciprocal devices circumvent the restrictions imposed by dynamic reciprocity. We then studied two-dimensional arrays of ring and Taiji resonators realizing quantum spin-Hall topological insulator lasers. The strong unidirectional coupling present in Taiji resonator lattices promotes lasing with a well-defined chirality while considerably improving the slope efficiency and reducing the lasing threshold. Finally, we demonstrated that lasing in a single helical mode can be obtained in quantum spin-Hall lasers of Taiji resonators by exploiting the optical nonlinearity of the material. In the second part of this Thesis we dived into more speculative waters and explored fractional quantum Hall liquids of cold atoms and photons. We proposed strategies to experimentally access the fractional charge and anyonic statistics of the quasihole excitations arising in the bulk of such systems. Heavy impurities introduced inside a fractional quantum Hall droplet will bind quasiholes, forming composite objects that we label as anyonic molecules. Restricting ourselves to molecules formed by one quasihole and a single impurity, we find that the bound quasihole gives a finite contribution to the impurity mass, that we are able to ascertain by considering the first-order correction to the Born-Oppenheimer approximation. The effective charge and statistical parameter of the molecule are given by the sum of those of the impurity and the quasihole, respectively. While the mass and charge of such objects can be directly assessed by imaging the cyclotron orbit described by a single molecule, the anyonic statistics manifest as a rigid shift of the interference fringes in the differential scattering cross section describing a collision between two molecules.
XXXIV
2020-2021
Fisica (29/10/12-)
Physics
Carusotto, Iacopo
Pavesi, Lorenzo
no
Inglese
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